Holy basil is a leafy green plant, native to Southeast Asia. It is also referred to by its scientific name Ocimum sanctum L., or more popularly known as tulsi. Do not mistake it for sweet basil, which is usually added to marinara sauce or for flavor. These two plants are very distinct.
Ocimum sanctum L. is highly nutritious and contains calcium, zinc, vitamins A and C, chlorophyll and iron. Hence, scientists highly value it for its incredible medicinal properties. Various parts of this plant have been used in India, since ancient history, for the treatment of many different health conditions, such as eradication of ringworms, insect bites, eye diseases, eczema, bronchitis, stomach ulcers, malaria, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Holy basil has a wealth of benefits in the human body. Thus, it’s no wonder that it’s sometimes referred to as the queen of herbs.
The Health Benefits Of Holy Basil
Here we show you some of the incredible health benefits you’ll get from consuming this herb.
1. Reduce Stress And Anxiety
We all experience some level of stress and anxiety in life. While stress can be emotional, it can also be physical, chemical and even infectious. Holy basil is an adaptogen natural substance, meaning that it can help the human body adapt better to stress. Also, it stimulates the mental balance.
Scientific studies show that the consumption of this herb helps humans reduce stress, alleviate sexual problems as well as sleep problems, improve memory, and assuage exhaustion.
The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine compares the anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties in holy basil, to those found in diazepam and other antidepressant medicines. To improve your wellbeing, clear thoughts and relaxation, consume this herb in the form of a spicy tea, on a daily basis. If the tea proves too bitter for your palate, you may also take it in the form of alcohol extract, or a pill.
2. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Research shows that holy basil is instrumental in preventing symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Among those are excess insulin in the blood, weight gain, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and hypertension. If you’re already taking diabetes medications, consult your doctor before you start taking this herb.
3. Protection Against Infection
The extract from holy basil leaves has antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Therefore, this herb can help in healing and protecting wounds, especially after surgery. It’s also great in fighting infections and treating other types of problems, such as keloids, mouth ulcers, acne and scars.
4. Body Stimulation
Holy basil is rich in antioxidants that aid in detoxing the human body. It can, therefore, help in protecting you against toxic chemicals. Studies indicate that it can play a key role in the reduction of cancerous cells in the body, thus preventing cancer.
5. Reducing Inflammation And Joint Pain
If you suffer from arthritis or other ailment that causes swelling and pain in the joints, then holy basil might just be the solution to your problems. Because it is an adaptogen, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it can help relieve pain and inflammation in the joints.
This herb has many other health benefits. It may, however, interact with other medications. Consult your doctor before introducing it to your system.